The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161248   Message #3882549
Posted By: Charmion
16-Oct-17 - 09:53 AM
Thread Name: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
Death cleaning. Yup, I've been there for years. I'm still there.

First, clearing the big family home after my mother died, so my dad could move to a much smaller and more manageable house. That took the better part of a year, including two summer months of full-time work before the sale.

Then, dealing with the aftermath of Dad's sudden and untimely death; he had recently moved house and half his stuff was still in heaps, and his papers in particular were a hoorah's nest, mostly filed under M for Miscellaneous. That took years, for it involved accepting that my brothers and I had to stop living as extensions of our parents' establishment and define our own needs and wants without listening to that ghostly voice crying, "But I gave you that!" or "But that was Uncle Alfred's!"

In fact, vestiges of the previous generations are still cluttering our quarters. We finally finished unpacking our books -- 55 two-cubic-foot cartons of them -- and yet again I found a corner for the wreckage of four Victorian copies of The Book of Common Prayer, once the property of my father's uncles and aunts, and the tiniest possible edition of the New Testament in French, so worn that the Book of Matthew is practically unidentifiable. Just what does one do with a holy book that is no longer usable as a book? Susan WYSIWYG, please offer some advice!

I am also the custodian of a quarto-sized leather-bound Bible that was a wedding gift to my father's great-great grandmother in 1794. I had it restored and rebound about 20 years ago, and it looks good for another two centuries if adequately cared for. It has a special spot on the top shelf of a bookcase with glass doors.

The unpacking of books immediately led to a major sorting and identifying of volumes that must find new homes. In particular, I have decided to let go of about four cubic feet of printed music, most of it classical repertoire that is either stuff I used to sing but is now beyond my asthmatic abilities, or was passed on to me by other singers in the hope that I would use it and I never did. Anyone out there interested in a complete set of Dvorak's Biblical Songs in the original Czech?

Stratford is an arty kind of place, and I just might meet a younger singer who would like her own library of music to pick and choose from. If not, there's always Kijiji.